The purpose of the project ECl: From A to Z is to contribute to the development of competences and skills in higher education systems. The formal curricula provides higher education students with the basic framework to develop their professional activities, but in general they do not take into account the need to promote civic engagement and participation in several spheres of public life.
This project aims to fill in this gap and provide a structured offer within the participant organisations that allow for the development of civic engagement and participation skills within a Higher Education environment. This will constitute a life-long experience that will accompany students for the rest of their lives and provide them with tools that they can and probably will use in their path to an ever-increasing active and inclusive citizenship.
The instrument of the European Citizens' initiative established in Treaty of the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is a field of excellence for this engagement and participation to take place since it involves procedures and mechanisms that have a defined scope and purpose and where participants can understand the relevance of their arguments, proposals and activities. Also it furthers the bettering of the European Union through critical thought and leads to more open policies and legislation.
The core purpose of the project is to develop new methods and tools for learning processes that are to be applied in a collaborative and practical way (learning by doing) in which students are the co-constitutive creators of their own European Citizens initiative. At the final parts of this project (that is divided generally in two parts, each with a different group of students) students will understand the relevance of their participation within the European Union, will be able to recognise and apply participatory instruments and use them in a argumentative and technically sound way, and evaluate the goals and, so far, the effects of the ECl.
Therefore besides sharing knowledges about the ECl, this project will promote collaboration and inclusiveness as well as it will help finding and defining subjects of common concern in European Union "extremes".
The organisation of a wide number, scope and relevance of intellectual deliverables and of learning teaching and training activities - all of them integrated into a well-oiled system of outputs, that will be disseminated online and offline - is the central part of the project. The combination of diverse processes and methodologies such as peer-learning, courses on ECl and Models ECl, allow for a constant effort and engagement on the project both from researchers/tutors and from students. Many of the outputs will outlive the project and stay available according to an open-access policy, multiplying even more the impact of the project.
The project ECl: From A to Z aims to involve:
- Students directly committed to the project, given the possibility to experience a new instrument and methodology with colleagues from other backgrounds and universities;
- Other Students and persons that wish to participate more actively in public life and that will have the basic knowledges and tools to do so;
- Researchers and tutors, whose teaching, coaching and social skills will be highly augmented by the general concept of the project and by the several activities and outputs it entails;
- Other Researchers and tutors who might feel motivated by the project and replicate it in their Higher Education Institutions;
- Stakeholders that will be involved during the project or that will be touched by it in their areas of activity (for instance, by one or more of the topics chosen by the students to be subject of an ECI);
- The legislative and political actors, that will have contact with the project and may use it as a platform of discussion on their own strategies and activities;
- The community of European Union Citizens since this project will raise the bar in what regards participation within the European Union, leaving behind a trail of activities and outputs (on-line and on paper) that will continue to stimulate the expression of opinions and the active participatory abilities of youth.
Student's views on ECI
ECI First Year RECAP
Dorothée Sartorius (UGöttingen)
Mariafé González (UVigo)
Narcisa Pozderie (ULași)
Maria Matilde Marques (UCoimbra)
Alexandra Seabra Ramos (UCoimbra)
Catarina Leite (UCoimbra)
Isabel Knittel (UGöttingen)
Isabel Vieira Dietz · Georg-August University of Göttingen
Short Film - From Europeans, For Europe
I chose the slogan “from Europeans, for Europe” since I believe that the European Citizens Initiative functions as an enhancing device for citizens voices. It portrays an opportunity for barriers to be broken down and a contingency for everyone, especially those who have no expertise in European Law to make their voices heard. This is what I chose to portray through the paper airplane flying “to” a citizen from a “blue hand” symbolising the Treaty of Maastrich. The clouds symbolize his or hers thoughts and ideas for a better future but they are flying around chaotically without clear form. When the citizen opens the paper airplane, they find their ideas of unity and direct democracy being materialized into the flag of the European Union, which should – with the European Citizens Initiative - aid citizens with ideas of a better future formulate them into legislative proposals.
Julica Schutz · Georg-August University of Göttingen
Do you feel like politicians don't focus on the topics which are important to you? Do you feel like you have no voice in this agenda setting?
Check out the European Citizen's Initiative - and let your voice be heard!
Érezted már úgy, hogy a politikusok nem fokuszálnak azokra a témákra, melyek fontosak Neked? Úgy érzed, hogy nincs beleszólásod?
Csekkold az Európai polgári kezdeményezést - és hallasd a hangod!
Hast du das Gefühl, Politiker behandeln nicht die Themen, die dir wichtig sind? Hast du das Gefühl, deine Stimme wird nicht gehört?
Informiere dich über die Europäische Bürgerinitiative - denn deine Stimme zählt!
The Europeans Citizens Initiative is a opportunity to participate actively in European politicy-making which is making the own voice heard in this process. This slogan, the idea of "let your voice be heard", is not new, but still very accurate. This is why I chose an active setting and to translate the idea of making a voice heard in the video.
The first question is asked by one person, who is wondering if her voice is loud enough to be heard. Then a group of six other people joins in shouting the abbreviation ECI and helping the first person making her voice heard, which they then say all together: Let your voice be heard!
The seven people are also a symbol for the seven people who need to start the initiative.
It aims to create curiosity about the ECI and make people interested in what might help, especially young people, to have a say in politics.
The format is a video because it is a common form for communication on social media, and it should be short to just create enough interest to read the caption.
At the same time, the setting is informal to symbolise a low threshold and engage people more easily to maybe take action themselves.
The caption does not literally say the same as the video, but rather is complementing it based on the same idea of the slogan, including the ECIs whole name and possibly a link to a related website.
The Hungarian slogan was created with the help of a Hungarian-speaking friend and the execution of the video was done with the help of an international group of friends, representing the spirit of the ECI process even in the making.
Luiz Faria · University of Coimbra
This year we celebrate 100 years of the Week of Modern Art in Brazil and looking at the painting «Operários» by Tarsila do Amaral, came the inspiration for this slogan. In the painting «Operários» Tarsila immortalizes the features of factory workers, which is quite marked by the existence of workers of all colors and races represented side by side. It is worth noting that, despite the differences, everyone has extremely tired and hopeless faces on their faces. From this frame, my idea was to put a blue background and the stars representing the European Union flag with a sentence in the center referring to the ECI project. I placed 28 people who are portrayed in Tarsila's painting, which as you can see have different colors and races, but I wanted to place the flag of the Union Member State in the center and the Union flag itself.
In this slogan, I want to demonstrate that the European Union is made up of different peoples, races, sex, religion, but that we have a single objective, which is to maintain peace even in polarity as we can see in its composition. But it is essential that these same people in their differences can join to improve this peace building even more. Thus, with the phrase «ECI is our Future. Participate Now! » aims to call everyone in their most different understandings to propose something good to keep improving more and more for a prosperous future.
Long live the European Union!!!
Michaela Gladuneac · Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi
Slogan : I can Make Right
The idea of this slogan came to me when I thought about how I can contribute to the EU, and then I decided to put on paper how I see Europe, both good and bad.
The slogan itself is a response of the population to the call of the EU "Make me BETTER".
Of course, my idea does not stop here, I know that most people when it comes to an initiative have a fear of opening up, a fear of trying and I decided to compose a song to express the fact that sometimes I'm afraid but I want to try .
I combined these two elements, the poster and the song, and I managed to assemble a video, which presents the slogan and describes it with musical notes.
Miruna Iosub · Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi
ECI slogan (Part 2)
For the first part of this final activity, I chose the format for the slogan to be a video for various reasons I will explain down below. I also did an additional poster to “be published” along with the video as I strongly believe visual art has a powerful impact on humans’ minds.
Firstly, as I said before while answering a module question, I am a believer of the well-known saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is the main reason I wanted to create the video in the first place, as the “Save Ralph” video was the one thing that really awakened my curiosity regarding successful European Citizens’ Initiatives, so I truly wanted for it to have the same impact on other people.
Secondly, I aimed to catalyze certain emotions, as there are so many bad things that are happening at global scale right now. The main goal is to make a “wake up call” through those impactful images and to show people that they can actively participate in making the world a better place to live in. Direct democracy is a blessing, and the fact that the ECI program is not as popular as it should be, represents an obstacle that must be removed in a way or another. Therefore, I chose to emphasize the word “you”, both in the video and in the poster, so people could understand that they have the right and the power to do something.
To conclude, it is mandatory to mobilize the population to take action into their hands, and the most effective way to do so is, in my opinion, through visual experience and by stimulating the emotional side, in order to raise awareness.